DID YOU READ

Scott Aukerman Talks Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2 and His “Rivalry” with Zach Galifianakis

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By T Sahara Meer

Well, Christmas in July! At least that’s how we’re feeling today, on the eve of Comedy Bang! Bang!’s return to IFC tomorrow at 10/9c. And like Santa in his workshop, creator/host Scott Aukerman has been carefully crafting Season 2 for the enjoyment of boys and girls all over the world — and the best part is, he doesn’t give a damn who’s naughty or nice. Incredibly, we were able to catch up with the uber-busy Aukerman — actually, it wasn’t that hard, he’s been on a media blitzkrieg all week. But before you get your chance to ask him all sorts of ridiculous questions yourself during his Twitter Q & A tomorrow at 9:30 PM ET/ 6:30 PM PT, we wanted a crack at him first. So read on, Bang! Bang! fans, and then just one more sleep until the big day…

What new things can viewers look forward to seeing on Season 2 of Comedy Bang! Bang!?

You know when IFC came to us and said you can make new episodes, that was the first thing we decided to do — to make them new. We decided not to just rerun the old ones. Practically, every frame is new this year. Although, sometimes we did get a little lazy and were like, “Let’s just throw some of the old frames in there.” But practically every word that we say is new. And when I say that, I mean we’re creating new words on the show this year. We decided not to be lazy and use any word that we used last year. So if you hear us use a word that we used last year — if you catch us because we slip up — then you can win 80 brand new Hyundais. Some contests only give away one car, we’re giving away 80. Pretty exciting.

Is it revealing too much to tell us some of the new words that you’ve created for Season 2?

Well, we use “flanderfoodle” once. You see, once we use a new word, we can’t use it the rest of the season. So something like “farfenoogle” — which we were so excited about when we came up with it — because when you hear it, it just so accurately reflected what was going on. It’s like when you come up with a word like “Kleenex.” And it’s like, “Yes! I’m going to blow my nose into a ‘Kleenex’ — of course I am!” It just fits, you know. So when we came up with that word that we came up with, we were like, “Oh, this is so perfect for what is happening right now.” But, then, we can’t use it again. So when we felt that way again, we had to come up with something new like “brackenbrickle” — and it just wasn’t the same.

If you had to pick just one, what would your favorite moment be from Season 1?

I really like the final episode, the green screen episode. That’s one where we got a little bit crazier and had a huge concept for the show. I think that in Season 2, we’re going to be doing a lot more stuff like that. Just the fact that we were able to do 20 episodes, we were able to stretch out and really tackle some bigger ideas this year. And also some weightier topics. In the conversations this year, some really heavy stuff comes up. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I’ll let the viewers decide. They can sound off on their Twitter and leave their comments below.

How has your relationship with Reggie Watts evolved in your time working together on the show?

I think it’s deepened. I think that the emotional exercises that we do before taping the show where we sit and face each other and touch knees — it goes without saying that we take off all of our clothes before we do this — and we gaze into each other’s eyes and we tell each other what we appreciate about each other. You can’t do that with a person without feeling closer to them. It’s much like in Cat’s Cradle, touching feet. We don’t go that far because feet are disgusting. But it’s been this thing where we have developed a real friendship, not just a TV friendship. In Season 2, you can tell in the first couple of episodes, it’s still just TV friendship. But then there’s this moment in Season 2, when it’s like boom!, all of a sudden: real friendship — and I hope that viewers can tell exactly when that is.

The new promos for Season 2 feature the tagline “the ultimate comedy fantasy” with you as a centaur and Reggie riding your back. Has that been a fantasy of yours?

Well, that’s not fantasy. That’s reality. We had to shoot that for the poster. I had to remove my glamour which prevents human beings from seeing me as a centaur and reveal my true self to the world. But Reggie and I have gotten close enough where he felt comfortable getting on my back. So it’s not really a fantasy at all. My fantasy is to appear as a human. That’s why I purchased that expensive glamour from a witch. So I’m living out my fantasy every day, but the reality is that I’m just a dirty, gross centaur.

Prior to Comedy Bang! Bang!, you were more of a behind-the-scenes guy (writing, producing). How has your life changed since becoming a TV star?

Yeah, I hated being in the scenes. I wanted to stay behind them. But there are all sorts of perks you get as a celebrity. There’s a celebrity internet, that only celebrities are allowed on. You have to type in wingdings. It’s a little bit harder, but it’s so exclusive. Oh, and the other issue with it is when you log on, it’s dial up. So it’s a pain in the ass, really, but the exclusivity of it just feels so damn good. And, you know, having every human on earth recognize me when I go out on the street can be a little distracting. Especially for them, because any city I travel in, work stops. Everyone puts down their protractors and their jackhammers — I think I just covered both ends of the job spectrum with those two items. [Laughs] But, really, they just sit and stare at me, mouths agape. I’m into it. So if you see me on the street, don’t try to talk to me, just sit and stare, slack jawed, at me. That’s what I really appreciate. And bow. Do one of those Japanese, full bows to the waist, not just one of those tiny head nods. Have your mouth agape and bow to the waist and I will now that you are a true Comedy Bang! Bang! fan.

You created another talk show, “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis. Is there any kind of rivalry between you and Zach about who’s a better host?

I think that Zach would concede that I’m a far better host than he. What he gets in return is that he is incredibly rich and a movie star. So, we all have our specialties in life: His is being a movie star and being one of the richest men on earth, and I get to be the better host. Hey! I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

You have quite an impressive array of celebrities coming up on the show — Jessica Alba, Sarah Silverman, Jason Schwartzman. How did you select your guests?

They’re very lucky when they are selected. We have a randomizer. It’s kind of a computer-generated number randomizer. We put every celebrity that exists into the computer and we assign them a number. George Clooney! Hey, you’re number 3,487, for instance. Then we mix them all up. You never know who’s going to pop out of that randomizer, but whatever number we pick, we just slot them right into the show. We were lucky this year, quite frankly, because there were some really D, E and F celebrities in that thing. But we got so lucky with who the computer picked this year. You can’t imagine the celebration that went on in the office when Jessica Alba’s name come up. It was like, “Oh! Oh my god. Thank goodness! It could have been Snooki.”

As a writer, producer, podcaster, you seem to have worked with every comedian in Hollywood. Is there any comic you don’t know but would like to meet?

I would love to have Chris Elliot on the show. I emailed with him once. His stuff on Late Night With David Letterman and his work in Cabin Boy and his books have all been great influences on me. We’ve tried to have him on the show both seasons and it didn’t work out. I would love to have him, and I say that in utter sincerity. Last year, someone asked me a similar question and I said “Pee Wee Herman” and it came true. So, I’m just going to put it out there: Chris Elliot, come on the show!

Comedy Bang! Bang! returns to IFC on Friday, July 12 at 10/9c

Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

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Forget Oscar

Find Your Spirit Animal

The Spirit Awards are LIVE this Saturday at 2p PT/5p ET.

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In just a few precious days, the greatest, most epic, most star-studded awards ceremony of the year comes to IFC.

And please, we’re definitely not talking about the Oscars. We’re talking about the Spirit Awards. Hosted by iconic comedy duo Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, it’s a relatively under-the-radar awards show with serious cred. And if the past is any indicator, we’re in for a wild night.

If you feel like doing your homework, you can find a full list of nominees and performance excerpts here. It reads like a who’s who of everyone that matters – those larger-than-life personalities with status that borders on mythological. Our celebrity spirit animals, if you will.

This isn’t hyperbole. Literally everyone who takes the stage at the awards show is spirit animal material. Let’s see if we can help you find yours…

Do you

Live in someone else’s shadow despite shining like the sun? Do you inexplicably vandalize your pretty-boy good looks with a sloppy-joe man bun and a repellent pubic-hair beard? Do you think sounding stoned and sounding thoughtful are kinda the same thing?

Congratulations, your spirit animal is Casey Affleck.

He’s the self-canonized patron saint of anyone who’s got the goods but doesn’t give a damn.

Do you

Have mid-length hair and exude a certain feminine masculinity that is universally appealing? Are you drawn to situations that promise little to nothing in the way of grooming or hygiene as a transparently self-conscious attempt to conceal your radiant inner glow? Does that fail miserably?

Way to go, your spirit animal is Viggo Mortensen.

He’s the yoga teacher of actors, in that what should make him super nasty only increases his curb appeal.

Do you

Get zero recognition for work that everyone knows is unrivaled? Do you inspire greatness in others yet get shortchanged when it comes to your own acclaim? Are you a goddam B-52 bomber in an industry of biplanes?

Bingo, your spirit animal is Annette Bening.

What does it take for this artist to win an Oscar? Honestly now, if her performance in 20th Century Women doesn’t earn her every award on the planet, consider it proof that the Universe truly is a cold dark void absent of reason or compassion.

Do you

Walk into a room full of strangers and walk out with a room full of friends? Have you been hiding under the radar just waiting for the right moment to leap out into the spotlight and stay there FOREVER? Do you possess the almost messianic ability to elevate Shia LaBeouf’s on-screen charisma?

You guessed it (or not), your spirit animal is 100% Sasha Lane.

If you haven’t seen American Honey, then you haven’t heard of her. She came out of the blue with a performance both subtle and powerful, and now she’s going to be in all the movies from this moment on. Or she should be, at any rate.

Don’t see your spirit animal there? Worry not. There are many more nominees to choose from, and you can see them all (yes, including Shia LaBeouf) during the Independent Spirit Awards, this Saturday at 2pm PT/5pm ET only on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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